Knowing the right time to add telemetry functionality to your center pivots can be tricky to nail down.
I heard from a long-time AgSense® customer earlier this spring that when he first installed pivot telemetry five or six years ago, he only installed them on the furthest pivots from home, thinking the sole benefit was remote monitoring and control.
But now he has them on all his pivots – even the one he can see out his kitchen window. But why?
Here are five great reasons to install pivot irrigation telemetry that you may not have considered.
Get VRI Capabilities with Minimal Cost
Adding telemetry to any existing electric pivot, regardless of vintage or type, brings that pivot into the variable rate irrigation (VRI) age with minimal cost and very simple programming. Through AgSense, you can easily program variable speed or upload VRI prescriptions (often called “scripts”) from other software.
Manage Wiper Pivots Effectively
Managing corners on wiper pivots can be challenging. Watering the same area twice in a short time can result in lower yields and stuck pivots. To solve this, use VRI to run the pivot into the barricade quickly – at 100 percent – for a distance, then back it out at the speed required to apply the correct amount for that distance. If the pivot panel has auto-reverse, allowing AgSense to change the direction, take it a step further by pre-programming a delay at the barricade. It’s a universal problem-solver and truly brings your farm into the age of precision irrigation.
Access Historical Reporting and Diagnostics
You can easily run many different types of historical reports that allow you to analyze how much you did or didn’t irrigate, keep track of total gallons pumped, merge with other agronomic data to create irrigation data layers and track water used against your allotment, among other uses. Additionally, from a service standpoint, many center pivot issues can be diagnosed remotely using the data log or “Readings History” feature of the remote software.
Receive Up-to-the-Minute Text Alerts
Most adults sleep an average six to eight hours per night. This means that for 25–33 percent of any given day, pivots are not being watched – and this includes the one right outside the kitchen window. Sure, no one likes to be awakened in the middle of the night by a text message, but doesn’t it beat having a pivot stuck and watering one spot for 10 hours? Or worse yet, someone stripping wire off the pivot at 2 a.m.? Stay in the know with timely alerts.
Enable Your Agronomist to Bring Results
This type of equipment helps your agronomist do his or her job better and more efficiently. Agronomists love the historical reports and the VRI capabilities that come with telemetry. If irrigation scheduling is part of your on-farm agronomist’s weekly field scouting, what could be better for both of you than being able to see real-time soil moisture data on the same app or web page as the pivot in the same field? Analyze the data, make decisions and implement those decisions – and you’re all set!
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